Why join a homeschool group? Here are four reasons from the newly updated Colorado Homeschooling Guidebook, chapter 9, “Homeschool Groups.”
The Need for Support in Homeschooling
- The need for encouragement and support along the journey is one thread that binds all home educators together. According to one dictionary, support means: “To bear; to sustain; to uphold; to prop up; to keep from falling or sinking — as the stem of a tree supports the branches.” So where and how can you find this support?
- God Himself is your most vital support system! Trust in Him and run to Him first with all your cares. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).
- You yourself can be your next important support system. Taking care of yourself spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally can never be replaced by the support you may receive from others. Develop your own daily disciplines to fill up these personal reservoirs so that you can give to your family, train your children, and be a blessing to others.
- Your family, and especially your spouse, should also be part of your support system. Pray together about the choices you make regarding your children and their education so that you can be in agreement. Be specific with your spouse about ways they can help. (Of course, remember you are their support system, too!) Grandparents and other relatives can offer support, and, not at all least, your own children can be enlisted on the team of your homeschooling effort. Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).
These areas of support are at the center of our lives. Then, as we draw strength from all the sources God has provided, He will equip us to give as well as receive support from our homeschool group. Abide in me and I in you (John 15:4 NKJV).
As a homeschooling family, having a group of friends that you feel you can trust to share your burden or your triumph can sometimes be vital to survival. A simple prayer shared can be the kindest way to encourage another traveler. When home educators across the nation are asked what their greatest needs are, their responses include: building a strong network of support, avoiding burnout, planning for fun, avoiding feelings of isolation, and teaching children to be part of a team.
A good homeschool group can make a difference in all of these areas.
The weaknesses of one family can be built up by the strength of another. Skills or resources can be shared for the benefit of the whole group. Socialization can be a positive factor, and lifelong friendships grow out of your union with like-minded families.
All homeschool group members are drawn together by their common purpose — home educating their children. In the past, these groups formed out of the pioneers who paved the way for us by establishing our right to homeschool and helping to draft laws on our behalf.
Now that home education has gained acceptance, we have the responsibility to keep encouraging one another and maintain the strong networks that have built that foundation. These networks can be used to share information that is pertinent to all. A homeschool group can also be a force to build positive relations between a local community and all of an area’s home educators.
Many homeschool groups are united on the basis of a common faith in Christ.
This provides fellowship in spiritual, as well as practical, areas of life. Every member of the family can benefit from this kind of encouragement. Michael Farris says, “Every homeschooling mom needs a friend who also homeschools. Every homeschooling dad needs a friend who will hold him accountable for carrying out his responsibility to his family in this arena of life.”
There is a place for every family in a homeschool group — new homeschoolers as well as seasoned ones need to be able to give, as well as receive, through the network of fellow home educators. To find a group in your area, check out our Homeschool Group Directory.
For more information on finding, joining, or creating a homeschool group, see Chapter 9 in the Colorado Homeschool Guidebook, available for pre-order now!